In a book, as in all things, there are lines of articulation or segmentarity, strata and territories; but also lines of flight, movements of deterritorialization and desertification. … All this, lines and measurable speeds constitutes an assemblage. A book is an assemblage of this kind, and as such is attributable.

— Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, 1980

“A book has neither thing nor subject; it is made of variously formed matters, and very different dates and speeds. To attribute the book to a subject is to overlook this working of matters, and the exteriority of their relations. It is to manufacture a beneficient God to explain geological movements. In a book, as in all matters, there are lines of articulation or segmentarity, strata and territories; but also lines of flight, movements of deterritorialization and destratification. Comparative rates of flow on these lines produce phenomena of relative slowness and viscosity, or, on the opposite, of acceleration and rupture. All this, lines and measurable speeds constitutes an assemblage. A book is an assemblage of this kind, and as such is unattributable. It is a multiplicity—but we don’t know yet what the multiple entails when it is no longer attributed, that is, after it has been elevated to the status of the substantive. One side of a machinic assemblage faces the strata, which doubtless make it a kind of organism, or signifying totality, or determination attributable to a subject; it also has a side facing a body without organs, which is continually dismantling the organism, causing asignifying particles or pure intensities or circulate, and attributing to itself subjects what it leaves with nothing more than a name as the tip of an intensity. What is the body without organs of a book? There are several, depending on the nature of the lines considered, their particular grade or density, and the possibilities of their converging on a ‘plane of consistency’ assuring their selection. Here, as elsewhere, the units of degree are what is essential: quantify writing. There is no difference between what a book talks about and how it is made. Therefore a book has no thing. As an assemblage, a book has only itself, in connection with other assemblages and in relation to other bodies without organs. We will never ask what a book means, as signified or signifier; we will not look for anything to understand in it. We will ask what it functions with, in connection with what other things it does or does not transmit intensities, in which other multiplicities its own are inserted and metamorphosed, and with what bodies without organs it makes its own converge. A book exists only through the outside and on the outside. A book itself is a little machine; what is the relation (also measurable) of this literary machine to a war machine, love machine, revolutionary machine, etc.—and an abstract machine that sweeps them along? … Literature is an assemblage. It has nothing to do with ideology. There is no ideology and never has been. …”

Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, “Introduction: Rhizome”, A Thousand Plateaus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia (trans. Brian Massumi), The Athlone Press, 1988.

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